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National Training and Development Curriculum

The National Training and Development Curriculum (NTDC) is a newly developed training curriculum to prepare and equip foster and adoptive parents. In Spring 2022, this curriculum will be free and available to public and private agencies alike.

Funded as a cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau, NTDC is led by Spaulding for Children in partnership with National Council For Adoption (NCFA), Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E), ChildTrauma Academy, the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), and the University of Washington School of Social Work.

NTDC is a free comprehensive training curriculum utilizing technology, multi-media, and adult learning theory, to equip parents with information they need to successfully foster and/or adopt.  Although this curriculum has been developed for people who want to foster or adopt through the public child welfare system, it has been adapted to be applicable to families who adopt via the private domestic or intercountry process.

Developed with your agency in mind

After reviewing academic scholarship, existing curricula, interviewing parents and young adults, and working with content specialists, the curriculum was developed and is currently being piloted in seven states, one tribe, and with a few private adoption agencies.

NCFA’s role has been to help adapt the curriculum so that is relevant for families pursuing adoption via the intercountry and private domestic process. We’ve partnered with private agencies, including Catholic Charities Diocese of Lacrosse, to pilot the curriculum with families, test the fidelity of this model, and allow the evaluation team at University of Washington to gather data on learning outcomes from these adoptive families.

The content

NTDC’s content provides adoptive families with knowledge and skills that will help them to provide a loving, supportive home for their child. The curriculum is designed in a manner that provides private agencies with flexibility in what themes are provided to families. NTDC uses a modular framework, allowing each of the 1–2-hour themes on a topic to be conducted on their own or stacked with other themes. In addition, the curriculum:

  • Includes up-to-date information on trauma, separation, and attachment.
  • Uses a layered content learning approach and incorporates the best principles of adult learning by using podcasts, videos, and experiential activities to practice and develop essential skills.
  • Features the voices of parents, professionals, and youth.
  • Offers comprehensive training for prospective adoptive parents, and provides ongoing skills development that parents can access independently throughout their journey.
  • Meets the federal requirements for Hague-compliant training (aside from those aspects that are country-specific and child-specific).

How is the training delivered?

The Themes were designed to be delivered in a traditional classroom setting but they have also been piloted and adapted for use via online, synchronous video conferencing.

In addition to the classroom themes, NTDC contains a component called right-time training. Right-time Training is an online component of NTDC that provides ongoing learning to help parents meet their family’s changing needs. Participants can access over a dozen right-time trainings, which include online videos, podcasts, questions and answers, and resources, at any time when they need to add to their knowledge or skills.

Want to learn more?

For more information and to see samples of some of these themes, go to:

NCFA’s 2021 conference will include a session describing NTDC’s curriculum and allow you to ask questions about the content. NTDC will also be a featured exhibitor with additional resources and material to learn more about this upcoming opportunity.

Still have questions?  Email us at and we’d be happy to connect with you.


This product was funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CO1132. The contents of this document are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau.